paparazziI left the office early on Thursday, October 25th and headed back to my apartment on the Upper Westside of Manhattan. As I approached the front stoop of my brownstone, I saw a man leaning against a car, right across from the front steps. A camera with a large telescopic lens hung from his neck. I was curious and approached.

“What you are shooting?”, I asked.

“Matt Damon”, he replied in a thick European accent. “He is in the bakery down the street and he’ll be leaving soon. His kid goes to the school across the street.”

I got more information than I anticipated.

“Are you paparazzi?” I asked.

He smiled and said, “of course”

“From Italy?” I asked,

“No Spain." And we shook hands.

I hung around. Within two minutes, out from the bakery comes Matt Damon. His head was nearly shaved. He walked with whom, I presumed, his father and mother. They approached us. My new friend starting snapping in frenzy, as if he held an automatic handgun providing constant fire. Pop! Pop! Pop! Matt, walking with great ease and nonchalance, crossed the street, entered the school and disappeared.

“Hey!” I said. “I was at the Woodstock Film Festival last week. The Executive Director said my film, Idle Threat, was the #1 film not to miss. Do you want to take a few shots of me?”

He smiled and posed me next to an iron fence. He checked the light and rifled off a half dozen photographs. We exchanged business cards and he promised to attach them to an email the next day. We parted with a handshake.

Interesting encounter. Matt Damon - one moment - A filmmaker the next – photographed by a Spanish interloper. Such is a glimpse of street life… on the upper west side of New York City.